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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Assistants in El Paso, Texas

If you want to be a medical assistant, the El Paso, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 34,790 people work as medical assistants in Texas. This is expected to grow 54% to 53,500 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 33.9% over the next eight years. Medical assistants generally perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician.

Income for medical assistants is about $12 per hour or $25,800 yearly on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $13 per hour or $28,300 per year. Medical assistants earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Texas and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as medical assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: chiropractic assistant, eye technician, and orthopedic cast specialist.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the El Paso area, including nine within twenty-five miles of El Paso where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical assistant. The most common level of education for medical assistants is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a medical assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical assistants perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. They also administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes.

Medical assistants ready treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean. They also interview clients to obtain medical data and measure their vital signs and height. Equally important, medical assistants have to show clients to examination rooms and ready them for the physician. They are often called upon to help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments and materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures. They are expected to record patients' medical history, vital statistics and data such as test results in medical archives. Finally, medical assistants greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Every day, medical assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical assistants to inventory and order medical, lab, or office supplies and apparatus. They are often called upon to change dressings on wounds. They also contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission. They are sometimes expected to run routine laboratory tests and sample analyses. Somewhat less frequently, medical assistants are also expected to greet and log in patients arriving at office or clinic.

Medical assistants sometimes are asked to keep financial reports and execute other bookkeeping duties. They also have to be able to execute general office duties such as answering telephones, taking dictation or completing insurance forms and clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies. And finally, they sometimes have to authorize drug refills and furnish prescription data to pharmacies.

Like many other jobs, medical assistants must be thorough and dependable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in El Paso include:

  • Certified Nursing Aide. Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, or move patients, or change linens.
  • Dental Assistant. Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
  • Medical Equipment Technician. Prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.
  • Psychiatric Aide. Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Assistant Training

El Paso Community College - El Paso, TX

El Paso Community College, 919 Hunter Drive, El Paso, TX 79915-1908. El Paso Community College is a large college located in El Paso, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,833 students. El Paso Community College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated one, ten, and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Optomeric Technician/Assistant, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.

Southwest Career Institute - El Paso, TX

Southwest Career Institute, 1414 Geronimo, El Paso, TX 79925. Southwest Career Institute is a small school located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 350 students. Southwest Career Institute has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated thirty students in 2008.

Anamarc Educational Institute - El Paso, TX

Anamarc Educational Institute, 3210 Dyer, El Paso, TX 79930. Anamarc Educational Institute is a small school located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 550 students. Anamarc Educational Institute has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated eighty-six students in 2008.

Western Technical College - El Paso, TX

Western Technical College, 9624 Plaza Circle, El Paso, TX 79927. Western Technical College is a small college located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 775 students. Western Technical College has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 127 students in 2008.

International Business College - El Paso, TX

International Business College, 5700 Cromo, El Paso, TX 79912. International Business College is a small college located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 421 students. International Business College has 3 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder, less than one year which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 41 students in 2008.

Western Technical College - El Paso, TX

Western Technical College, 9451 Diana Drive, El Paso, TX 79924. Western Technical College is a small college located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 468 students and an admission rate of 63%. Western Technical College has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated fifty-eight students in 2008.

Computer Career Center - El Paso, TX

Computer Career Center, 6101 Montana Ave, El Paso, TX 79925-2021. Computer Career Center is a small school located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 303 students. Computer Career Center has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 41 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated seventy-seven and ten students respectively in 2008.

Career Centers of Texas-El Paso - El Paso, TX

Career Centers of Texas-El Paso, 8360 Burnham Rd Ste 100, El Paso, TX 79907. Career Centers of Texas-El Paso is a small school located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 641 students. Career Centers of Texas-El Paso has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 111 students in 2008.

International Business College - El Paso, TX

International Business College, 1155 N Zaragosa Rd Suite 100, El Paso, TX 79907. International Business College is a small college located in El Paso, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 425 students. International Business College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Medical/Clinical Assistant, less than one year which graduated 43 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Medical Assistant: The CMA (AAMA) is considered the gold standard of medical assisting professionalism.

For more information, see the American Association of Medical Assistants website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Coding Associate: American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater, and this need is expected to continue for some years to come.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Medical Assistant: A Medical Assistant (MA) is an integral member of the health care delivery team, qualified by education and experience to work in the administrative office, the examining room and the physician office laboratory.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical LabTechnician: All laboratory professionals, including Medical Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Assistants have long played a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Donor Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for current Phlebotomy Technicians who take blood from patients for testing or for a blood bank, prepare samples for testing, and carry out those tests.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Corporate Certified Opthalmic Assistant: A certification for employees of companies that supply products and services to the.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist: The Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS) is typically employed or contracted by a health care organization including, but not limited to, health plans, group practices, credentialing verification organizations or hospitals (health systems).

For more information, see the National Association of Medical Services Staff website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: El Paso, Texas

El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas photo by Camerafiend

El Paso is situated in El Paso County, Texas. It has a population of over 613,190, which has grown by 8.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in El Paso, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in El Paso are priced at $150,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 2,521 new homes were built in El Paso, down from 2,666 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in El Paso are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 18.3% of El Paso residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in El Paso is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of El Paso residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Pentecostal Holiness Church, El Divino Redentor United Methodist Church and El Paso Catholic Church are some of the churches located in El Paso. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

El Paso is home to the Wyler Aerial Tramway and the Old Fort Bliss as well as Travis White Park and Feather Lake Wildlife Refuge. Shopping centers in the area include Las Palmas Shopping Center, NorthPark Shopping Center and Cielo Vista Shopping Center. Visitors to El Paso can choose from Holiday Inn El Paso, Best Western Airport Inn and Allstate Motel for temporary stays in the area.